At the Ref Desk (9/16/20): Worst thing about chat reference : the number of times you get cut off. Sucks. [more...]
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Today's Story : Burger on Bench

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 4/3/20 (6:04pm)

Out on the green with a number from 5 Guys.

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Our Current Predicament (Academic Library Edition)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 4/2/20 (9:55am)

Digitization in an Emergency: Fair Use/Fair Dealing and How Libraries Are Adapting to the Pandemic (Ryan Clough, ARL Blog):

“Like every other major institution operating during the coronavirus pandemic, research libraries are confronting sudden and radical shifts in their daily realities. Foremost among these challenges is the near-total loss of access to paper books and other physical library holdings. As of today, nearly every ARL member in the United States and Canada has closed its brick-and-mortar facilities and discontinued or severely limited access to print collections.... This emergency is truly unprecedented in modern times, even during times of war.”

More here...

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Alas No ALA 2020

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/25/20 (2:03pm)

The news came out on Tuesday (3/24/2020): No ALA in Chicago this year :-(

Already for a couple of days, I was wondering if maybe the organizers were taking a chance: you know, maybe things would clear up by June. Apparently not. Below is the official announcement sent to members already registered for the event. There's always next year, I guess.

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Home Rule

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/23/20 (2:12pm)

We got the notice last week that the university (library included) would shut down. Students had to move out of dorms. Instructors had to reconfigure their classes -- not just for next quarter (Spring 2020) but for finals happening that very week. For the foreseeable future, we'll be handling library questions from home using email and IM (instant message). At the moment it's all about what to do with borrowed materials and when will the library reopen.

Schools across the country (not to mention world) are experiencing the same. I have absolutely the greatest sympathy for both our students and faculty. This is something none of us will ever forget.

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Current Cites for Feb. 2020

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 3/1/20 (11:58am)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for Feb. 2020 is out! You can find the issue here...

Wrote about an interesting study that looked at the characteristics of transfer students at the undergrad level. Rang a bell.

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Snack time at the RefDesk

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 2/25/20 (6:54pm)

People at work were kind enough to bring in some munchies.

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ALA Annual 2020 in Chicago

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/25/20 (9:13pm)

Yahoo! The ALA Annual Conference is coming back to Chicago! Me? I'm already registered.

Update (3/25/2020): Bummer, ALA Conference for 2020 cancelled! More here...

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#SaveDotOrg

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/15/20 (7:36pm)

One way to demolish the Internet is to take over its address names.

Electronic Frontier Foundation:

"This month it was suddenly announced that the nonprofit that owns the .ORG domain registry was planning to sell it to a private equity firm, Ethos Capital. This could impact the millions of individuals and organizations that have a .ORG website, subjecting them to potential censorship and leaving the door open for price increases on domain registration and renewals."

More here and here.

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Year-end & Decade-end Achievements

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/1/20 (1:55pm)

I managed to finish off both these guys!

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Interview with WGN-TV

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 11/6/19 (10:36pm)

Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2019 was an important day -- or rather important evening. It was when WGN-TV broadcast the interview with me [link here] produced by the excellent reporter, Erik Runge. The actual interview took place a few days earlier at the DePaul Library.

The topic was my experience in West Berlin both before and after the Wall came down. The segment also included other witnesses both here and in Berlin. The fact that the reporter included so many other photos of me -- from my days in Paris to a shot of me in lederhosen at 4 years old holding on to Mayor Daley -- made the whole thing seem so much like a personal biography.

That said, I truly appreciate how the reporter let me have the last word. For so long the east side of Berlin was a symbol of oppression while the west side observed tolerance and liberty. It truly was a triumph of democracy -- something I shall never forget.

Update: Erik Runge and the good people at WGN-TV aired a follow-up segment on Thursday evening. The title was, "Lessons from the Fall of the Berlin Wall Still Ring True, 30 Years Later" [link here]. As the title suggests, the piece looks at the lessons from this period together with what people born afterwards think about it. My own comment which they include was to agree that lessons were drawn but that people can forget them -- if only (one hopes) temporarily.

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